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Zim ‘unlikely’ to resume EU beef exports

05 March 2007

ZIMBABWE - THE Zimbabwe Government has shelved plans to resume beef exports to the European Union due to the stringent demands that the economic bloc is making before trade can kick off, an official said last week.

Services Department principal director Dr Stuart Hargreaves said that the Government had shelved plans to resume beef exports to the EU as it was pursuing other markets in the East with less stringent conditions.

Dr Hargreaves said the conditions the EU was insisting should be met before resumption of trade were too cumbersome and required huge financial investments which the country could not afford.

"We have shelved the plans for several reasons," he said. "The major reason being that the EU is insisting that all cattle in the country should be identified to the farm and dipping tank of origin through either ear-tagging or branding."

He said although the country wanted to resume the exports, it could not afford purchasing ear tags as well as putting up fences in some areas that the Government had resettled landless Zimbabweans.

Other EU demands include zoning the country to prevent movement of cattle, erecting fences around national parks to prevent cattle from getting into contact with buffalo, which are believed to carry the foot-and-mouth virus as well as vaccinating cattle against the disease.

The EU banned beef imports from Zimbabwe in 2001 following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth in some parts of the country.

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Source: The Herald


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